Leipzig-born Ken-David Masur has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra since the 2011/12 season. He is also Assistant Conductor to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and in the current season he will direct subscription concerts there and will conduct concerts at the renowned Tanglewood Festival.
Ken-David Masur was most recently described in the press as "fearless, brave" and "a vital force" (San Diego Union Tribune). In addition to his positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the San Diego Symphony in California, he conducts orchestras like the Boston Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, the Russian National Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de Toulouse, the New Philharmonic of Westphalia and Collegium Musicum Basel as well as the Rio de Janeiro Symphony Orchestra (Brazil) and orchestras in Hiroshima (Japan) and Memphis, Tennessee (USA).
From 2004 to 2006 Masur was Assistant Conductor of the Orchestre National de France and in 2007 was appointed Resident Conductor to the San Antonio Symphony. In 2010 he conducted the London Symphony Orchestra as one of three finalists at the renowned Donatella Flick Competition and has twice been the recipient of a Fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Festival, including one in 2011 from Seiji Ozawa.
Ken-David Masur gained a B.A. at Columbia University in New York, where in 1999 he was a co-founder of the Bach Society Chorus and Orchestra, of which he was the first Music Director until 2002. He received his first musical training from his father Kurt Masur at the Mendelssohn-Bartholdy College of Music in Leipzig, at the Manhattan School of Music in New York and at the Detmold Music College and the Hanns Eisler College of Music in Berlin. From 2002 to 2007 he was a master-class student there in the class of Thomas Quasthoff and thereafter he often worked as a choral director, some of his choirs being the Radio Choir of Paris, the London Philharmonic and the Academy of Choral Arts in Moscow.
Ken-David Masur initially learned conducting from his father Kurt Masur and has been supported by a number of mentors since 2000, including Jorma Panula, Rolf Reuter, Larry Rachleff, Christopher Seaman, Helmuth Rilling, Stefan Asbury, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Christoph Eschenbach, André Previn and Vladimir Spivakov. He collaborates regularly with famous musicians like Gil Shaham, Emanuel Ax, Augustin Hadelich, Gerhard Oppitz, Benedetto Lupo, Alban Gerhardt, Joyce Yang, Alisa Weilerstein and Ray Chen.
Together with his wife, pianist Melinda Lee Masur, he is Artistic Director of the internationally renowned Chelsea Music Festival in New York City, which presents innovative programmes combining music, visual arts and culinary contributions at a variety of venues all over Manhattan for ten days in June every year.
(updated: November 2014)
Photo: © Beth Ross-Buckley